Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Teaching All Nations: Interrogating the Great Commission is on pre-order at Amazon.com


Available at Amazon.com
pre-order rate of $36 (reg. price $49)



That Christian missionary efforts have long gone hand-in-hand with European colonization and American imperialist expansion in the 19th and 20th centuries is well recognized. The linchpin role played in those efforts by the "Great Commission"—the risen Christ's command to "go into all the world" and "teach all nations"—has more often been observed than analyzed, however. With the rise of European colonialism, the Great Commission was suddenly taken up with an eschatological urgency, often explicit in the founding statements of missionary societies; the differentiation of "teachers" and "nations" waiting to be "taught" proved a ready-made sacred sanction for the racialized and androcentric logics of conquest and "civilization."

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part 1: Colonial Missions and the Great Commission: Re-Membering the Past

1.      Colonial Mission and the Great Commission in Africa — Beatrice Okyere-Manu

2.      Examining the Promulgation and Impact of the Great Commission in the Caribbean, 1492–1970: A Historical Analysis Dave Gosse

3.      US Colonial Missions to African Slaves: Catechizing Black Souls, Traumatizing the Black Psychē Mitzi J. Smith

Part 2: Womanist, Feminist, and Postcolonial Criticisms and the Great Commission

4.      The Great Commission: A Postcolonial Dalit Feminist Inquiry —Jayachitra Lalitha

5.      Privilege but No Power: Women in the Gospel of Matthew and Nineteenth-Century African American Women Missionaries through a Postcolonial Lens — Lynne St. Clair Darden

6.      ‘Knowing More than is Good for One’: A Womanist Interrogation of the Matthean Great Commission Mitzi J. Smith

Part 3: Theology, Art, and the Great Commission

7.      Images of the White Jesus in Advancing the Great Commission — Sheila F. Winborne

8.      The Great Commission in the Face of Suffering as Minjung  Michelle Sungshim Lim

9.      Children’s Agency and Edinburgh 2010: The Great Commission or a Greater Omission? — Rohan P. Gideon

Part 4: The Great Commission and Christian Education: Rethinking Our Pedagogy 

10.  Interrogating the Matthean Great Commission for US Christian Education: Reclaiming Jesus’ Kingdom of God Message for the Church — Karen D. Crozier

11.  Beginning Again: Rethinking Christian Education in Light of the Great CommissionAnthony G. Reddie

12.  Christian Moral Education and the Great Commission in an African ContextLord Elorm-Donkor

Part 5: Interrogating the Commission from Beyond the Academy 

13.  A United States Inner-City Oriented Great Commission MarShondra Scott Lawrence

14.  The Great Commission’s Impact on a Short-term Missionary and Lay Leader in the Church of God in Christ — June C. Rivers


 

Friday, December 6, 2013

RIP Mighty Warrior, Madiba Mandela



On yesterday, December 5, 2013, Rolihlahla (Madiba) [Nelson] Mandela (b, 1918) died in his native South Africa. I remember first learning, in any critical way, about Apartheid in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC), and about Nelson and Winnie Mandela in the mid-80s in a course about Apartheid at OSU as a black studies master's student.  In 1963, Mandela was brought to trial  together with his fellow black activists for about the third time. This time, he and 10 other ANC leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment for political offenses, including sabotage. Nelson Mandela was incarcerated on Robben Island for 18 of his 27 years in prison. During this time, he contracted tuberculosis and, as a black political prisoner, received the lowest level of treatment from prison workers. However, while incarcerated, Mandela was able to earn a Bachelor of Law degree through a University of London correspondence program.

In 1982, Mandela and other ANC leaders were moved to Pollsmoor Prison. In 1985, South African President P. W. Botha  offered Mandela's release in exchange for renouncing armed struggle; the prisoner  rejected the offer. With increasing local and international pressure for his release, the government participated in several talks with Mandela over the ensuing years, but no deal was made. It wasn't until Botha suffered a stroke and was replaced by Frederik Willem de Klerk that Mandela's release was finally announced—on February 11, 1990. And in 1994 Mandela became the first black President of South Africa!

By 1986 I had returned to Washington DC to work in law firms as a legal secretary in anti-trust litigation and corporate real estate. When Mandela visited the US for the first time I was working at a law firm in downtown DC.  I heard some commotion outside and discovered that Mandela was across the street from our offices visiting a museum.  I ran outside to a crowd that had already gathered and the police had roped off a path for Mandela. Somehow I made my way to the front of the crowd just as Mandela was coming out of the museum, and he shook my hand. I wanted to never wash my hand. I had locked hands, if but for a second or less, with a man who epitomized courage, dignity, integrity, justice, community, peace, love.. under some of the most trying circumstances. I was so proud and honored to have shaken his hand.

 I shall not forget Apartheid, the struggle, the solidarity with the struggle that many  of us in the diaspora demonstrated, his fallen comrades (known and unknown), and Mandela's long walk to freedom!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Great Elder has Left this World: RIP Professor François Bovon

Professor François Bovon
I am deeply saddened at the death of a great New Testament scholar Professor François Bovon, Frothingham Professor of the History of Religion Emeritus at Harvard Divinity School. He was an excellent scholar who encouraged and supported his students, demonstrated God's compassion, and continued to mentor former students, inviting us to have a meal with him every SBL/AAR! He was my teacher, academic and dissertation advisor, supporter, and friend. He was known to take time to pray with his students at appropriate times. I took my first class on the Christian Apocrypha from Professor Bovon, and his teaching style, his expert knowledge, and enthusiasm for the subject ignited in me a love for those texts.  In fact, it was out of that class that I published my first article as a Ph.D. student and it was published in an international journal. He wrote the French version of the abstract.  Professor Bovon, in these latter years, struggled with throat cancer.  One of the last times I saw him was on Harvard's campus where he invited me to lunch at the faculty club in the fall of 2009 (I was on study leave from my institution), and he shared his story with me. He never sought pity but courageously lived his life to the end continuing to do what he loved to do. He will be dearly missed in this world. Rest in peace, my friend!

François Bovon was a professor from 1967 to 1993 at the University of Geneva, in its Divinity School, which was founded by John Calvin in 1559. He was dean there from 1976 to 1979, and is still an honorary professor of the University of Geneva. He began teaching New Testament and early Christian literature at Harvard in 1993, and was chair of the New Testament Department from 1993 to 1998, and again in 2001-02. He was editor of Harvard Theological Review from 2000 to 2010. He was president of the international Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas in 2000. In recent years he has developed his teaching and research in two directions: the exegesis of New Testament texts, particularly the Gospel of Luke, and the publication and interpretation of non-canonical Acts of the Apostles, particularly the Acts of Philip, legends on Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and apocryphal fragments. His critical commentary on Luke, in four volumes, has been completed in German, French, and Spanish. English and Italian will soon follow. The first volume in English appeared in the "Hermeneia" series, published by Fortress Press, in 2002. The second and the third, published together, appeared in Italian in 2007. His critical edition of the Acts of Philip, done in collaboration with Bertrand Bouvier and Frédéric Amsler, was published as volume 11 in the Corpus Christianorum: Series Apocryphorum by Brepols in 1999. His book The Last Days of Jesus was published in 2006, and a Spanish translation appeared in 2007. Two volumes of essays have been published in recent years: Studies in Early Christianity (2003; in paperback, 2005) and New Testament and Christian Apocrypha (2009; in paperback, 2011).


Precious in God's sight is the death of his children!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Faux Feminism: Just Lean In


Feminism is not a dirty word. In a nutshell, it is a movement that believes that women are equally human and deserving of the same rights and privileges their humanity calls for. It is not about male bashing or hating. Feminism calls for the naming and dismantling of all systems of oppression. Some have dubbed COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg as the new face of feminism.  Sandberg’s book Lean In has captivated millions of women and she is taking her show on the road again.  But black feminist scholar bell hooks is exposing her faux feminism in a recent article for the Feminist Wire.  I must admit that I read Lean In a few months ago because a black female pastor asked me to help her unpack it (and fortunately or unfortunately that conversation never took place).  Many career-minded women would naturally want to hear what the female COO of Facebook had to say; what nuggets of wisdom she might share that would help them navigate the corporate world with success. Although Sandberg offers some somewhat good practical advice, good depending on one's context, it is elitist and naive to believe that an oppressive patriarchal system will just give way to one’s gifts and talents because women,of any and every hue, ethnicity and class just "lean in". While one cannot underestimate the power of perseverance (I believe in perseverance), one cannot equally underestimate the power of evil and/or oppressive systems in which the power to hire, promote, and fire rests with misogynist, racist, classist, primarily white males and at institutions that fail or neglect to put in place any kind of systemic mechanisms against those and other isms.
bell hooks writes: 
“Sandberg’s definition of feminism begins and ends with the notion that it’s all about gender equality within the existing social system. From this perspective, the structures of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy need not be challenged. And she makes it seem that privileged white men will eagerly choose to extend the benefits of corporate capitalism to white women who have the courage to ‘lean in.’ It almost seems as if Sandberg sees women’s lack of perseverance as more the problem than systemic inequality. Sandberg effectively uses her race and class power and privilege to promote a narrow definition of feminism that obscures and undermines visionary feminist concerns....

"Contrast her definition of feminism with the one I offered more than twenty years ago in Feminist Theory From Margin To Center and then again in Feminism Is For Everybody.  Offering a broader definition of feminism, one that does not conjure up a battle between the sexes (i.e. women against men), I state: “Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.” No matter their standpoint, anyone who advocates feminist politics needs to understand the work does not end with the fight for equality of opportunity within the existing patriarchal structure. We must understand that challenging and dismantling patriarchy is at the core of contemporary feminist struggle – this is essential and necessary if women and men are to be truly liberated from outmoded sexist thinking and actions.”

Read the rest of hooks’s article at http://thefeministwire.com/2013/10/17973/

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Womanist Reading of the Feeding Miracle

A womanist is "a black feminist only more commonly". A womanist, as a woman of color and/or a black woman values and privileges her own experiences as an individual black female and as a sharer and participator in the historical and cultural legacy and present reality of black women and black people's lives. The following is an excerpt from my article:

"There is no shame in begging especially when we have done all we can to survive. What difference would it make in people’s lives if we all lived in a sharing mode grounded in a compassionate consciousness of the existence and impact of unjust systems and situations, of human error, of hardships that can befall any of us, and an understanding of our human connectedness? In her 1983 book In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, Alice Walker describes a womanist as committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female …. Traditionally universalist, …Traditionally capable, as in: “Mama, I’m walking to Canada and I’m taking you and a bunch of other slaves with me.” Reply: “it wouldn’t be the first time.”...."The first time” signifies Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and her work to free other slaves. A womanist ethic asserts that we cannot free ourselves without freeing other people too. We cannot liberate ourselves and our children and leave other people and their children to themselves without the proverbial boots or bootstraps, if we can help it. Human beings need other human beings to survive....

"Both the miracle of the feeding of the great crowd in our text and manna in the Wilderness of Sin connect the earthly miracle with heaven. In the desert, Jesus looked to heaven before (or as) he blessed and broke the bread. 24 In the Wilderness of Sin, Yahweh promised to rain down bread from heaven for the congregation of Israel. In Matthew, both John the Baptist and Jesus announce (and commission his disciples to proclaim) that the “kingdom of the heavens (ouranoi)25 has come near” (3:2; see also 10:7). The Kingdom of heaven has drawn near in the person and ministry of Jesus; he embodies the Kingdom and encourages his disciples to do the same. Matthew’s Jesus is God with us (1:23). The food that fed the multitude was multiplied in the human hands of the earthly Jesus in whom the kingdom of heaven is brought near. “The source of the feeding is God, but the resources are human.” (Boring, 324). As Cheryl Sanders states, “God feeds the poor in our kitchens”; we must make “God’s kingdom come alive on earth.”....

"When human beings fail to respond to hunger, to dismantle injustice, and use what we have for the sake of others, then even the righteous will be forsaken and its seed begging for bread....

read the entire article at www.bibleandtransformatiom.com Vol 3

Monday, March 25, 2013

Was Jesus Married? And Does it Matter?




Dr. Karen King of Harvard Divinity School discovered a fourth century CE Coptic papyrus in which a scribe writes “Jesus said to them my wife." When some Christians read or heard about this discovery, their first reaction was, “what difference does it make?”. The papyrus fragment discusses issues of discipleship and family in general. In fact, one of my Facebook connections and a friend asked more specifically what difference the possibility of Jesus being married makes for salvation.  Dr. King is careful to note that the papyrus does not explicitly say that Jesus was or was not married.  In fact, the papyrus is of a quite late date compared to some other New Testament manuscripts dated in the second century CE.  But the papyrus does raise questions as to when early Christians started raising questions or talking about Jesus’ marital status.  Below is a video of an interview with Dr. King of Harvard University:

I think Christians should be interested in the papyrus fragment, and other such archaeological finds as well, for the following reasons: (1) They are historical documents. And as historical documents they give us a glimpse into the history of Christianity.  We ought to know about our history, how it impacts the present, and how it may inform the future. Christians who belong to denominations that require their pastors to obtain a theological education are exposed to church history for the prior-mentioned reasons; it makes good sense to be able to understand things in their historical context.  Without context we have no meaning or meaning is distorted.  Members of Christian churches should want their pastors and teachers to be able to place things in their proper historical context, in as much as it is possible.  Nothing happens in a vacuum. (2) Some Christians base their understandings of marriage and singleness in general, as well as the impact of marital status on ministry, on whether or not they understood Jesus to be married.  In fact, some Christians place a higher value on being single over being married with regard to commitment to Christian ministry, relying heavily on Paul’s statements in First Corinthians chapter 7. Other Christians have believed and some still believe that all clergy should be married (as well as all men and women!). Such a discovery that Jesus was married might certainly impact how we understand ministry and the Christian life. (3) If Jesus had been married, we would certainly read differently some of the canonical and non-canonical witnesses that preserve the sayings of and about Jesus.  For example we might read differently the two somewhat contradictory testimonies at Matthew 5:31-32 (when Jesus says in Matthew that no man should divorce his wife except if she is unchaste.  If he does so for any other reason and remarries, he has committed adultery) and at Mark 10:10-12 where Jesus takes the position that there is no exception or excuse for divorce (anyone who divorces and remarries as committed adultery).  Or we would at least expect that Jesus definitely set the example in his own marriage and was, as the author Hebrews writes "touched with all the feelings of our infirmities." If he could maintain a good marriage, certainly we can. If we see it as a bad thing for Jesus to have been married, then it may be that we place a low value on the institution of marriage in general. Again, however, the fragment does not say he was single or married.  I personally think God would be fine with Jesus or anyone making the choice to be married or to remain single, as long as they lived a life pleasing to God.
We should not be so readily dismissive of new finds and evidence.  It was not until the middle 1940s (1947-1956) that the over 800 Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves thirteen  miles east of Jerusalem. That archaeological find yielded invaluable manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible (written in Hebrew and Aramaic), not including the book of Esther (as well as other nonbiblical texts). The Isaiah Scroll, found relatively intact, is 1000 years older than any previously known copy of Isaiah. It also contains never before seen psalms attributed to King David and Joshua. The scrolls are the oldest group of Old Testament manuscripts ever found! I don’t believe that our salvation is threatened by keeping an open mind and being humble about what we know and don’t know. God probably has quite a few more surprises for us.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Practicing Initiative. More Than the Minimum.


This Psalm Sunday I am reminded how Jesus exercised initiative in his early life, in his ministry, and during the final days of his life. Despite knowing that he would die in the Holy City because of the purposeful, inclusive, compassionate, and power-filled life of ministry he practiced, Jesus headed toward Jerusalem; he did not wait for his adversaries to come after him (Luke 9:51). As womanist biblical scholar Raquel St. Clair asserts in her book Call in Consequences, it was not Jesus’ purpose to die but to live; his suffering was a consequence of his ministry.  This historical Jesus was God with us (Matthew 1:23).  Jesus lived a life in which he continually exercised initiative; he took charge of his life.  Jesus chose to go to John the Baptist so that John could baptize him even though John thought himself unworthy to baptize Jesus; that Jesus should be the one baptizing him.  Jesus followed the Spirit’s leading and spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness fasting, praying and being tempted by the adversary in preparation for his ministry (Matthew 4:2).  Jesus, like his forerunner John the Baptist, did more than the minimum required to fulfill his purpose. Perhaps, because he believed that with God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). Jesus understood that to exist in and exercise a God-like perfection or wholeness means exceeding what is required and allowing possibility, purpose, compassion, and passion to compel us (Matthew 4:43-48).
In order to pursue our lives and vocations in excellence, we will exercise initiative that is motivated by possibility, purpose, compassion, and passion. This means that we won’t wait for others to compel us or overlook us, but we will step up to the plate and do what needs to be done and more.  Too often people wait to see if someone else will do a task rather than doing it themselves.  This lack of initiative occurs in situations from helping people in distress to asking questions in a classroom. Many people won’t ask questions that can help them to understand a particular topic because they are waiting to see if someone else will ask the same question. Meanwhile, nobody asks the necessary questions. So like the majority, they just show up, which is the minimum required of them.  I don’t want to minimize the importance of showing up; showing up is half the battle, but only half the battle. Too many people set the example of only doing the minimum required for a task or project. Some students will only do the homework a teacher assigns, even when it would greatly benefit them and increase their knowledge to do more. But those motivated by possibility, purpose, compassion, and passion will exercise initiative. We can exercise initiative by thinking about and researching our options beyond the obvious ones, by asking questions, and by doing more than is required. For example, if an executive asks her assistant to reserve a room at her favorite hotel in a certain city and the hotel is booked, then the assistant should take the initiative to, (1) ask her employer at the time of the initial request if she has a second or third option if the hotel is booked; (2) search for comparable alternatives, and (3) ask the hotel to notify her in case of cancellations.
We value initiative in others; therefore, we should cultivate it in ourselves.  Most parents and adults value initiative in children. If we ask them to take out the trash, and they only empty the trash in the kitchen and not in the rest of the house, we become annoyed with them. To do only what is required of us will only assure that we are average or mediocre.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Democratic Womanism



Democratic Womanism

By Alice Walker
You ask me why I smile when you tell me
you intend in coming national elections
to hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils.
There are more than two evils out there, is one reason I smile
Another, is that our old buddy Nostradamus comes to mind
With his fearful 400 yr old prophecy that our world
And theirs too, our enemies, lots of kids included there
Will end by nuclear Nachbah?, by holocaust, in our life time
Which makes the idea of elections
and the billions of dollars wasted on them somewhat fatuous
A southerner of color, my people held the vote very dear
While others for centuries merely appeared to play with it
One thing I can assure you of, is this,
I will never betray such pure hearts by voting for evil,
even if it were microscopic,
which as you can see in any newscast, no matter the slant, it is not.
I want something else – a different system entirely
One not seen on this earth for thousands of years, if ever
Democratic Womanism
Notice how this word has “man” right in the middle of it
That’s one reason I like it.
He is right there front and center, but he is surrounded.
I want to vote and work for a way of life that honors the feminine
A way that acknowledges the theft of the wisdom female and dark mother leadership may have provided our spaceship all along
I am not thinking of a talking-head kind of gal—
happy to be mixing it up with the badest bad boys on the planet
Her eyes a slit; her mouth a zipper
No, I am speaking of true regime change
Where women rise to take their place unmasked
At the helm of earth’s frail and failing ship
Where each thousand years of our silence is examined with regret
And the cruel manner in which our values of compassion and kindness
Have been ridiculed and suppressed, brought to bear on the disaster of the present time
The past must be examined closely, I believe, before we can leave it there.
I am thinking of Democratic, and perhaps socialist, Womanism.
For who else knows so deeply how to share but mothers and grandmothers,
big sisters and aunts, to love and adore both female and male,
not to mention those in between
To work at keeping the entire community educated, fed, and safe
Democratic Womanism, Democratic Socialist Womanism
Would have as its icons such fierce warriors for good as
Vandana Shiva, Aung San Suu Kyi,Wangari Maathai, Harriett Tubman, Yoko Ono, Frida Kahlo, Angela Davis and Barbara Lee
With new ones rising wherever you look
You are also on this list,
but it is so long, Isis would appear midway, that I must stop or be unable to finish the poem
So just know that I stood you in a circle
that includes Marian Wright Edelman, Amy Goodman, Sojourner Truth, Gloria Steinem, and Mary McCleod Bethune,
John Brown, Frederick Douglass, John Lennon, and Howard Zinn
are there, happy to be surrounded.
There is no system now in place that can change the disastrous course the Earth is on.
Who can doubt this
The male leaders of Earth appear to have abandoned their very senses
Though most appear to live now entirely in their heads
They murder humans and other animals, forests and rivers and mountains everyday they are in office and never seem to notice it.
They eat and drink devastation.
Women of the world, women of the world, is this devastation us?
Would we kill whole continents for oil or anything else rather than limit the number of consumer offspring we produce and learn how to make our own fire?
Democratic womanism, democratic socialist womanism
A system of governance we can dream and imagine and build together
One that recognizes at least six thousand years of brutally forced complicity
And the assassination of Mother Earth but foresees six thousand years
Ahead of us when we will not submit
What will we need? – a hundred years, at least, to plan
Five hundred will be handed us gladly, when the planet is scared enough
In which circles of women meet, organize ourselves, and elide with men brave enough to stand with women.
Nurture our planet to a degree of health, and without apology, impossible to make a bigger mess than has been made already,
Devote ourselves heedless of opposition to tirelessly serving and resuscitating our mother ship
And with gratitude for her care of us worshipfully commit to rehabilitating it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Black Women's Voices on Voting and Politics


“In the summer of 1965 Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which eliminated all literacy tests.  After that, people in Alabama did not have to answer twenty-four questions.  They could register to vote if they could sign their name in cursive.  It didn’t take us but twenty minutes in Selma, Alabama, to teach a woman to write her name.  The white students took her to the courthouse.  She wrote her name in cursive writing and came back with a number that meant she could register to vote. This is the way we did it.” ~ Septima Clark (1898-1987), educator and voting/civil rights activist (Ready from Within)


Of course, I don’t know very much
   About these politics,
But I think that some who run ‘em
   Do mighty ugly tricks.
When we want to school our children
   If the money isn’t there,
Whether black or white have took it,
   The loss we all must share,
And this buying up each other
   Is somthin worse than mean.
Though I think a heap of voting,
   I go for voting clean.”   ~  Francis Ellen Harper (1825-1911), Sketches of Southern Life (1896)


If white American women, with all their natural and acquired advantages, need the ballot, that right protective of all other rights; if Anglo Saxons have been helped by it—and they have—how much more do Black Americans, male and female need the strong defense of a vote to help secure them their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?  And neither do the colored citizens of the Republic lag behind in the fundamental duties of tax-paying and using the elective franchise.  The price of their freedom as far as that freedom has progressed, was too dear a price to be treated lightly.” ~ Adelle Hunt Logan (1863-1915), educator and activist

“And gentlemen, I warn you no longer to stand out in refusing the right to which we contend; in trying to withhold from these noble ladies here and their darker sisters the franchise they now demand.  Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton, with their high moral and intellectual power, have shaken the states of New England, and the shock is felt here today… Woman has a power within herself, and the God that reigns above, who commanded Moses to lead the children of Israel from out of the land Egypt, from out of the house of bondage, who walled the waters of the Red Sea, who endowed Samson with power to slay his enemies with the jawbone of an ass, who furnished Abraham Lincoln with knowledge to write the emancipation proclamation, whereby four million Blacks were free—that God, our God, is with and for us, and will hear the call of woman, and her rights will be granted, and she shall be permitted to vote.” ~ Naomi Talbert (Anderson) [1814-1894], writer and lecturer, pioneer in black women’s suffrage movement

“By a miracle the 19th Amendment has been ratified.  We women have now a weapon of defense, which we have never possessed before. It will be a shame and a reproach to us if we do not use it”   ~ Mary Church Terrell, 1920 [1863-1954], educator, activist, professional lecturer

“It is important that I never made the rights of women or of blacks a primary theme of my campaign but insisted on making my role that of a potential voice for all the out-groups, those included.  As best I could, I tried to keep stressing the principle that our government cannot keep on being primarily responsive to the privileged white upper classes but must serve the human needs of every citizen.  Long unmet needs for housing, health care, pensions on which the aged can live decently, effective schools everywhere, including the poorest neighborhoods—all people in need must be helped, not written off as malcontent, demanding, lazy, ignorant bums and cheats.” ~ former and first serious female Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the US, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005)